If you manage a fleet of vehicles, then you know how hard it can be to maintain all of the records and documentation for each truck. That’s not even mentioning the fact that it’s difficult to ensure that everyone will be on time for each job, as route optimization and troubleshooting can be a major hassle on its own. Wouldn’t it be so much better if you could have a single application that could help you manage everything in real time? Well, there is.
With technology advancing so quickly these days, vehicle management platforms are here to help you make the most out of your fleet, as well as improve your bottom line. Let’s take a look at some of the best options available and see what they can do for your business.
What is a Vehicle Management Platform?
Simply put, this is a program that allows you to remotely monitor and manage all of your vehicles with a single, easy-to-use interface. Rather than having to collect data from each car or truck individually and then compile that information afterward, now you can manage it all in real time and record everything from mileage to fuel consumption as well as time and routes taken.
Depending on the software that you use, you can also perform engine diagnostics and do analysis review from the back end, which enables you to pay attention to everything without having to be on site or on the truck at the time. This can potentially save countless hours and make your business run much more efficiently.
To get a better understanding of how these programs work, let’s make a comparison of some of the top platforms in the industry. We will be looking at three primary companies: Synovia Solutions, TomTom WebFleet, and 86Borders.
If you want a company that stands behind its product and offers guarantees for its performance, then you will love Synovia. Not only do they have a remarkable fleet management system that can help improve your bottom line, but they stand behind their services and guarantee both connectivity and troubleshooting if there are any problems. Simply put, you not only get some incredible software but peace of mind as well.
The primary goal of Synovia is to provide both onboard tools to make your operations more efficient as well as analytics so that you can see what isn’t working and make changes on the back end. Overall, by streamlining the whole management process, it allows you to focus more on improving the quality of your work and growing as a company. Here are some of the features you can expect from this program.
GPS Mapping and Tracking: not only see where your vehicles are at any given time, but create records so that you can compare them after the fact.
Time Management: instead of having your employees write down when they clock in or out, Synovia allows them to do it through the app, saving time and paperwork, as well as improving accuracy.
Engine Diagnostics: as soon as an error code pops up on one of your vehicles you are alerted so that you can take the appropriate action before it becomes a severe issue.
Analysis: compare routes, travel times, and other metrics to see how your fleet is performing against your planning. See where things are lagging so that you know how to correct them.
The analysis portion of Synovia is a proprietary system called Silverlining. Some of the data you can look at with this software includes:
- Average speed
- Arrival time
- Missed stops
- Excessive idling
- Railroad crossing compliance
- And much more
You can imagine that having such a comprehensive breakdown of your fleet will make it much easier to pinpoint where changes can be done so that you can drastically improve your bottom line. Before, you had to rely on your drivers providing this kind of detailed analysis, but now you can access it immediately and remotely.
You may already be familiar with TomTom as a GPS system for your car, but the company now provides some exceptional fleet management systems that can help you upgrade your current business model. Overall, you can get more out of this application than you could with most other platforms. Here are some highlights that you can expect from WebFleet.
Driver Communication: TomTom provides mobile devices that you can install quickly into any car or truck in your fleet. These devices let drivers and the office communicate much more efficiently, including notifications about delays, new stops, and any other details that may change en route.
Third-Party Integration: if you currently have some kind of work management system in place, then you can integrate it into WebFleet so that you have total immersion between platforms. This will make it much easier to transfer data between programs and ensure that your back end is much more efficient.
Driver Analysis: this system monitors all kinds of metrics for your fleet, including speed, compliance, and stops. Thus, if you notice that your drivers are not meeting your expectations then WebFleet will notify you of any issues as well as potential solutions to correct them.
Tachograph and Time Remaining: analyze your time and speed on the road in real time and get an accurate estimate of arrival. This will help ensure that you get better readings for your customers which will improve your bottom line. Every second counts.
In addition to all of this, TomTom WebFleet also has the standard management processes, such as comprehensive data analysis, GPS tracking, and diagnostics. As you can see, this one of the more complete vehicle management platforms, and it can provide you with a wealth of data to improve your services.
If you don’t want to invest a lot of money into infrastructure for your fleet (i.e., mobile devices and GPS trackers), then you may prefer to have something like 86Borders instead. This platform can be installed on any mobile device, which means that generic smartphones or tablets are a viable option for your business.
Overall, this management system is a bit more generic than the others, meaning that it is designed just to make logistics easier, but it’s not specific to fleet management. So, things like vehicle diagnostics and fuel efficiency will not be a part of the system. Overall, 86Borders is there to make it easier to communicate between remote workers and connect to each other through its remarkable widget platform.
Some of the features that can be utilized for fleet management in particular are route optimization and last mile mapping. These can either be used on the back or the front end so that you can also improve customer service by allowing clients to see where your vehicle is at any given time. These days, having that kind of accountability is valuable for consumers, which can help improve your bottom line.
Other features include document uploading and management, as well as customer signatures and feedback. Overall, 86Borders works well as both a back end and front end platform, so feel free to use it however you see fit.
What is a Field Worker Management Platform?
Field service management (FSM) refers to the management of a company’s resources employed at or en route to the property of clients, rather than on company property. Examples include locating vehicles, managing worker activity, scheduling and dispatching work, ensuring driver safety, and integrating the management of such activities with inventory, billing, accounting and other back-office systems. FSM most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installation, service or repairs of systems or equipment, and/or have a level of complexity with their logistics work process.
What inField Clipboard Can Do
Our customers have realized the following results by using inField Clipboard:
- Integrating with world class hardware-based GPS solutions providers (e.g. TomTom, Synovia, etc.) means we are able to provide a dashboard of where the vehicles are located, and automatically overlay where customers and/or suppliers are located all on one map.
- Integrating with mobile device based GPS solutions providers (e.g. 86Borders, Fleet Rover) means we are able to provide a dashboard of where the field workers are located, and automatically overlay where customers and/or suppliers are located all on one map.
- Integrating with any GPS service provider means we are able to send notifications to customer, other field workers, and to administrators about location, and availability of the field workers, as well as automate the creation of timesheets using Geofencing. This also enables automating reporting against KPIs like travel time, performance at the job site (time to do work), etc.
Now that we’ve seen what you can expect from different software programs, how can it improve your business? Here are the top reasons that vehicle management is going to work for you.
Eliminate Lag Times
Whether it’s waiting for the driver to deliver his load or waiting for signed documents to get back to the office, having a vehicle management platform eliminates all of that waiting by providing a real-time solution. Now you can upload and send documents remotely and communicate with drivers instantly, especially when details such as, appointment time, scope of work, etc. change. This means that you can start processing orders as soon as they are completed, which can help improve office operations and help you get paid faster.
Currently, do you know what problems are holding your company back? Is it errors in completed forms, consumed materials not being recorded, fuel efficiency, load times, or driver error? You may have some estimates of what happens out on the road, but without a comprehensive field worker and vehicle management platform, it’s impossible for those estimates to be precise. As soon as you implement this software, however, you will get a much clearer and more detailed picture of your operations, which can have an enormous impact on your bottom line. Until you can pinpoint a problem, how can you expect to find a solution?
Since the platform handles most of the detail work for you, it means that you don’t have to work as hard to get the same level of performance from your fleet. Now, a single supervisor or manager can handle multiple drivers at once, eliminating the need for extra staff in the office. Also, with reduced lag times you can get more orders done in the same amount of time, which will enable you to grow and thrive as a business.
Improved Customer Service
Now that you can see all of your metrics in real time and make changes on the fly, you can pass that knowledge to your clients. You can provide a more accurate estimate on delivery times, as well as allow for instant customer feedback through the platform. You can work quickly to process their orders, meaning that you can provide more value to your services. Overall, having the right vehicle management platform enables you to focus more on enriching the front end experience, making your brand more valuable in the eyes of your clientele.
If you want to make the most out of your fleet, then you need to have an integrated field worker and vehicle management platform working for you. Until then, you will always be held back by limitations and uncontrollable variables.